Yangon is the former capital of Burma (Myanmar) and the capital of the region of Yangon. The military government officially moved the country’s capital to Naypyidaw in March 2006, but Yangon, with its population of over five million people, is still the country’s largest city and the most important commercial centre.
Although Yangon’s infrastructure is underdeveloped,when compared to those of other major cities in Southeast Asia, it has the largest number of colonial buildings, still in existence, in the region today. Many high-rise residential and commercial buildings have been constructed or renovated in downtown and Greater Yangon in the past two decades, but most of the satellite towns around the city are still deeply impoverished.
Mandalay is the second-largest city and the last royal capital of Burma. It is located 445 miles (716 km) north of Yangon, on the east bank of the Irrawaddy River. The city has a population of one million, and is the capital of the Mandalay Region.
Mandalay is the economic hub of Upper Burma and is regarded as the centre of Burmese culture. A continuing influx of Chinese immigrants, mostly from Yunnan province, in the past twenty years, has reshaped the city’s ethnic makeup and increased commercial exchange with China. Despite Naypyidaw’s recent rise, Mandalay remains Upper Burma’s main commercial, educational and healthcare center.
Bagan is an ancient city located in the Mandalay Region of Burma (Myanmar). From the 9th to 13th century, the city was the capital of the Kingdom of Pagan, which was the first kingdom to unify the regions that would later constitute modernday Myanmar. During the kingdom’s height of power, between the 11th and 13th century, over 10,000 Buddhist temples, pagodas and monasteries were constructed in the Bagan plains alone.The remains of over 2200 temples and pagodas still survive to the present day.
The Bagan Archaeological Zone is a main draw for the country’s still nascent tourism industry. It is regarded by many as equally attractiveas Angkor Wat in Cambodia.
Mount Popa is a volcano that lies 1518 metres (4981 feet) above sea level, and is located in central Burma (Myanmar), about 50 km (31 mi) southeast of Bagan (Pagan), in the Pegu Range. It can be seen from the Ayeyarwady (Irrawaddy) River, from as far away as 60 km (37 mi) in clear weather.It is perhaps best known as a pilgrimage site, with numerous Nat temples and relic sites atop the mountain.
The name Popa is believed to derive from the Pali/Sanskrit word puppa, which means flower.
Myeik is a city in the Tanintharyi Region in Myanmar (Burma), and is located in the extreme south of the country, on the coast of an island in the Andaman Sea. As of 2010 the estimated population was over 209,000. The area inland from the city is a major smuggling corridor into Thailand.
Chin Hills is a mountain range in Chin State, in northwestern Burma (Myanmar), that extends northward into India’s Manipur state. Chin Hills is part of the Arakan Mountain Range (Arakan Yoma). The highest peak in the Chin Hills is Nat Ma Taung, or Khonumthung (Mount Victoria), in southern Chin State, which rises to 3,053 meters (10,500 feet). The Chin Hills-Arakan Yoma montane forests ecoregion has diverse forests with pine, camellia and teak. Falam is the largest town in the Chin Hills, it lyes at the southern edge of the range.
The Chin Hills are east of, and adjacent to, the Patkai Range, which includes the Lushai Hills and runs through Nagaland in India, as well as a part of Burma. The Lushai Hills are frequently associated with the Chin Hills as the topography, people’s culture and history are similar.
Mogok is a city in the Pyin Oo Lwin District of the Mandalay Region of Burma (Myanmar), and is located 200 km north of Mandalay and 148 km northeast of Shwebo.
With its elevation of 1170 meters, the city has a fairly temperate climate all year-round. Mogok is home to mostly Bamar, with large minorities of Shan, Lisu, Palaung, and Karen ethnic groups, as well as Chinese, Indians and Gurkha. The city is comprised of two towns, Mogok and Kyat Pyin. Mogok is four miles long and two miles wide. It is situated in a valley surrounded by a large number of mountains. Kyat Pyin is about 12 miles away from Mogok.
Mawlamyine, which is also known as Moulmein, is the capital of the Mon state and isthe third largest city of Myanmar. It is situated 300 km south east of Yangon and 70 km south of Thaton, at the mouth of Thanlwin (Salween) river. Mawlamyine experiences a tropical climate and it has a lower degree of humidity than most other parts of South East Asia.
The temperature at Mawlamyine averages between 25.6o C during January, its coolest month, to 29.4o C in April, its hottest month. The rainy season lasts from June to October, although the greatest rainfall usually occurs in July and August. The average annual rainfall in Mawlamyine is 190 inches. The population of Mon State numbers 3 million and it consists mainly of Mon and Myanmar. Thecity has a main railway station which connects it with the Burmese capital in the north and with the south of the country. The old Death railway is also a diverted route from Mawlamyine at the town of Thanbyuzayat.
Hpa-an is the capital of Kayin State. It was recently removed from the list of restricted travel destinations. The city is reachable by road from Yangon, across a new Bridge (Thanlwin) over the Thanlwin River. Hpa-an is a small town but it’s a busy commerce center, where farmers from the region comeinto town in horse carts or trishaws stacked with baskets of produce to sell at the market.
The city has a population of about 50,000 people, and most of them are Kayin. The main tourist attractions are Bayin Nyi Naung Cave and Mt. Zawekabin.
Pyay was formerly known as Prome. Pyay is only 161 km north of Yangon and it lies on the eastern bank of the Irrawaddy River on a lovely location.It’s easily reachable by car, via a well-maintained highway.While traveling this route, visitors can see green paddy fields along the side of the highway.
Pyay was also known as Thaye-khittra (Srikshetra between 4th -9th century).The ancient Pyu capital, is an interesting place to visit because of its historical importance and its archaeological sites such as Patagyi Pagoda, Payama Pagoda, Bawbawgyi Pagoda & Bebe Pagoda, and the ruins of the Pyu dynasty palace and the Mawza museum which is a small museum, but it has a collection of artifacts collected from excavations; including royal funerary urns, stone relieves, a couple of Bodhisattavas, a Dvrapala (great guardian), statues of the Hindu deities Tara Devi, Vishnu & Lakshmi, several 6th century Buddha images, tile fragments, terracotta votive tablets and silver coins minted in the kingdom. Other interesting places are Shwetaung and Akauk Hill.
Salay is a lovely town that lies about 15 km to the south of Bagan, down the Ayeyarwaddy River. The Sale Yok Sone Kyaung is an all-teak Monastery that has magnificent carvings which feature traditional motifs. U pone Nya Museum, exhibits antique lacquer wares, wooden reliefs and a large standing gilded Buddha image. Another place worth visiting is Tha-ta-na Kyaung (Keythar Monastery) where Tipitaka texts are housed in a large red lacquered cabinet.
Putao is anisolated charming town which has breathtaking scenery and is surrounded by the snow-peaked mountains at the very northern part of Myanmar. It can be reached only by plane. The weather is cool all year round and there are many varieties of citrus fruits that aregrown in the orchard.
It is the nearest town to the base camp for hiking, trekking and climbing of Mt. Khakhaborazi (5889 metres).The trail leads through local villages inhabited byvarious hill tribes. Mt. Khakhaborazi is the highest mountain in Myanmar and in whole Southeast Asia, and it stretches up to the Himalaya.